The importance of call center quality feedback cannot be overstated. It is the basis for your call center’s success. It’s only through tracking agent performance and providing timely, accurate feedback, coupled with great training and development that you can improve. that you can improve.
The key is consistent and authentic communication that happens in a timely manner and without fear of reprisal. And that feedback needs to not just be about problems, areas for improvement, or ongoing development. It must also contain positive feedback whenever possible.
The Value of Providing Positive Agent Feedback in Remote Call Centers
According to Jake Herway of Gallup, “A culture of psychological safety enables employees to be engaged…they can take risks and experiment [and] express themselves without the fear of failure or retribution.”
- Companies that provide strength-based (positive) feedback see a 14.9 percent lower turnover rate.
- 69 percent of employees work harder when their efforts are recognized.
- Managers who receive positive feedback show 9 percent greater profitability.
Developing a call center where regular positive feedback is essential—even while working remotely—will boost productivity and engagement, create a healthier work environment, and establish your call center as a place with a positive atmosphere. So, how do you give positive agent feedback in a remote call center?
Quality assurance scorecards are a great place to start.
The Benefits of Scorecards for Giving and Tracking Feedback
Scorecards are essential tools for facilitating call center agent feedback. Not only do they allow you to gather quality data on agent performance so that you have valuable objective evidence, but they can help you illustrate both good and bad points that agents can then use to improve.
Quality assurance scorecards are especially beneficial when it comes to remote agent performance because they provide a vehicle for active two-way discussion. Scorecards help you go beyond what an agent did right or wrong for a better understanding of why or how an agent performed the way they did.
By providing remote call center agents with scorecards, you place the customer experience into their hands—giving them the power and autonomy to monitor and improve their interactions at every touchpoint. With scorecards, you can set agents up for self-evaluating the customer journey and how they performed or met goals throughout it.
Scorebuddy’s quality assurance scorecards help you measure:
- How well your remote agents recognized a customer’s emotional needs/mood.
- How well your remote agents provided the customer with their desired outcome.
- If and how the customer’s perception was changed positively or negatively by the conclusion of the interaction.
Employees rely on recognition and rewards to figure out if they are on the right track, Nicole Fallon explains for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Praise and acknowledgment instill confidence that ultimately improve performance, retention, and overall satisfaction.”
4 Creative Ways to Use Scorecards to Give Positive Feedback to Agents
So, the question is, “How do you use scorecards to give positive feedback to agents, creatively and in a remote setting?” It’s not as difficult as you think.
1. Incentivize Productivity
It’s important to realize that scorecards don’t have to only focus on customer success. They can also recognize how well employees handle and improve critical business processes and how they personally adapt, innovate, and grow. It’s this type of positive performance review that can serve as a tool for incentivizing productivity.
The key is to use the agent scorecard to provide employees with insight into how their work links to the success of the organization. You can do this by directly relating their performance to metrics and meaningful goals across the organization—HR, finance, IT, marketing/sales, operations, etc.
- Accomplishment of employee development objectives: Took eLearning courses, participated in training, engaged in group discussion, etc.
- Learning and growth competencies: Followed new or updated customer service guidelines, completed a training course, improved from last evaluation, etc.
- Accomplishment of business objectives: Met sales goals, showed up to work on time, attended mandatory meetings, etc.
- Goal accomplishment: Demonstrated problem-solving abilities, compliance with company policies, customer follow-up, etc.
Make sure to prioritize meaningful work on the scorecard. The goal being to track and analyze key performance factors—particularly when it comes to productivity and process improvement—and then rate employees on how they perform above or below the target over a certain period.
And don’t forget that improvement can be different for each employee. Be willing to compare productivity not just to the overall group or company, but to the employee month-over-month (review-over-review) to find more positive movement.
2. Offer Kudos and Rewards
Rewards are critical to success. Employees need to be motivated and driven to continue to improve and work harder. And that means they need to be recognized when they do well, especially when they go above and beyond.
It’s not helpful just to provide positive feedback and then disappear. Instead, motivate employees to stay on the right track by linking their performance to a reward.
Monetary rewards are, of course, the most common place to start. You can provide a lump-sum of cash for hitting certain performance goals to help supplement salaries. But that’s not the only option. Providing e-gift cards, vacation time, priority scheduling, improved hours, or additional learning opportunities for high-performing employees is also a great way to recognize and reward.
The key should be getting to know each of your team members well so you can reward them with what they want most. And that’s the same for kudos.
Some employees respond best to verbal acknowledgement of their work or recognition of their accomplishments in front of team members or management. Make sure you recognize employee achievements in public with, at minimum, a “thank you” or “job well done.”
Gamifying customer experiences is an effective and fun way to promote productivity and improve employee performance. It uses kudos and rewards (which we discussed above) to encourage employees to participate by offering a “prize” for the best performance. This not only appeals to your agents’ competitive side, but it incentivizes them to work harder to achieve the best results.
To gamify agent feedback, you need to combine scorecards with fun activities to show that you care about your employees and how well they perform. You also need to provide a context for performance. Employees can’t know how well they’re doing unless they can compare themselves to their targets and their peers.
There are a few key elements to gamification:
- Real-time recognition of achievements. This can be as simple as a public “thank you” in front of the entire team over video or it can be a tangible reward.
- Create neutral measurements. Neutrality helps you promote positive dialogues for better habit and behavior formation.
- Set clear rules. Employees need to know exactly how they’ll be measured and what their expectations are for success if they want to play well.
The goal with gamification should be to increase engagement levels and to solicit more emotional, immediate, and accurate agent responses.
4. Ask Questions
Using scorecards to give feedback without starting a conversation is not very effective. In a remote work environment, especially, it can feel like you’re aggressively micromanaging your team. Instead, you want your call center agents to feel like trusted and supported team members, which is why a conversation that asks questions is critical.
The truth is that no one has all the answers. You can’t see how well your employees are doing day-in and day-out, especially in a remote work situation, which is why the most effective positive feedback includes a lot of questions. If you want to be an effective call center team leader, you need to know what to ask and then really listen to the answers to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
When agents show mastery of their work, use questions to develop their critical eye, improve self-assessment, and provide them with a more hands-off management style in that area. By teaching team members to question their work, it creates a more scalable solution to positive feedback.
For example, you can ask:
- What went right with your last project?
- What would you repeat for the next project? What would you skip?
- What could have gone better in the last project?
- What would you recommend that we do differently next time?
- How can I help you perform better?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your performance?
Establishing Call Center Quality Feedback is Essential to Success
Establishing scorecards as part of a regular call center quality feedback routine is essential to success. It will take time, effort, and dedication to get it right, but the value it provides is worth it, especially in a remote work environment.
The key is to make giving positive feedback normal. It’s only in this way that you can overcome initial employee resistance to getting feedback and open up the conversation for continued improvement.
Scorebuddy scorecards help you monitor and measure the agent and customer experience at every touchpoint. You can set performance metrics for every step in the customer’s journey and, from there, recognize top performers, set up ongoing coaching, initiate training, and leverage positive outcomes. It’s all about opening up the dialogue so you can make continuous improvements.
Learn how Scorebuddy scorecards can help you today.